Sad to hear Margaret Thatcher has died. A major figure in British history. Hope the left can keep it respectful.
— Alex Smith (@alexsmith1982) April 8, 2013
The dominant figure of post war British politics is dead. Love her or loathe her Margaret Thatcher shaped this country as few others did
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) April 8, 2013
There will be many analyses of her legacy in the next few days. My sense is that not only the inequalities, but how we deal with the inequalities, is down to the actions of her Government.
Here’s an immediate thought, not related to her policies: I grew up assuming that the word ‘Prime Minister’ necessarily meant a woman. Just as maleness is a ‘necessary characteristic’ of James Bond, for me, femaleness was a necessary characteristic of a Prime Minister.
There’s some dialogue near the start of Mary Poppins, where Mrs Banks (the suffragette) says that they planned to picket the Prime Minister, and refers to him. As a kid, watching that film a lot, I always found that weird. Likewise, when John Major took over in 1991, and the news reporters called the Prime Minister ‘he’, I experienced real cognitive dissonance.
According to the data published by the Guardian, the gender pay gap actually increased during Thatcher’s premiership. However, woman’s full time pay, as a percentage of men’s, did increase.